Chapter in:Advances in Interdisciplinary Language Policy
Edited by François Grin, László Marácz and Nike K. Pokorn
[Studies in World Language Problems 9] 2022
► pp. 344–359
The ontology of the linguistic territoriality principle
A conceptual roadmap
The linguistic territoriality principle is popular both among theorists and practitioners of language policy. But its precise content is notoriously vague. A plethora of different meanings have been attached to it, leading to conceptual and normative confusion. This chapter proposes a novel conceptualization of this principle, in order to operationalize it both for theory and practice. It elaborates a proper definition of the LTP, illustrates its numerous versions and offers a state-of-the-art overview of justifications for and critiques of the LTP. The chapter works out, in short, a full ontology of the LTP, against the background of notions of mobility and inclusion. Our main research question is the following: what is at the conceptual and moral core of the territoriality principle? What are the crucial notions that need to be present in order to meaningfully speak of linguistic territoriality, and why do these notions matter morally? To address these questions, we offer and discuss two metrics that could constitute the core of the LTP: the linguistic coerciveness metric and the linguistic diversity metric. We argue that, although the coerciveness metric is relevant, the diversity metric is at the conceptual core of territoriality, such that we ought to understand linguistic territoriality as fundamentally characterized by linguistic monism, or monolingualism. Finally, we draw implications that such a view of LTP might have for the key concepts of mobility and inclusion.